By Matt Wenzel

Pioneer News Network

EAST LANSING — Just 11 months after learning how to pitch, Amanda Steig found herself in an unlikely situation.

The 2012 Reed City graduate had the ball in her hand to start Wednesday’s Division 3 All-Star Game at Michigan State’s Secchia Stadium on July 18

"I never thought I would have started at the All-Star Game pitching," she said. "I thought maybe a little outfield or something."

Although Steig went on to play first base and catch in the game, she made a mark in the circle by tossing a pair of scoreless innings for the White team in a 12-2 loss.

"I was very surprised with myself and very happy that I came through like that because I didn’t expect to be pitching," Steig said. "I’m glad I could do that for myself and the team."

The White team’s pitching relied solely on products of the Central State Activities Association as Steig was relieved by Reed City’s Courtney Morgan and Morley Stanwood’s Sarah Lagendyk.

"It wasn’t designed to be that way, but it wound up that all of our pitchers were out of our conference," said Reed City coach Roger Steig, who coached the White squad and was without a pair of pitchers that made the team.

But he was also happy for his daughter.

"To wind up starting an All-Star Game and pitching the way she did," he said, "that’s a pretty thrilling experience as both a coach and a father."

It was the 31st year of the All-Star festivities presented by the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association.

The game was delayed almost 90 minutes Wednesday morning because of thunderstorms, which only made Amanda Steig more nervous and about the first pitch.

“Don’t let it be a ball. You better throw that right down the middle," she recalled thinking. "And, I did. I threw a strike down the middle."

Steig retired the first batter on one pitch, allowed a two-out bunt single, then worked a 1-2-3 second inning. She also had a single and sacrifice bunt in three trips to the plate.

"That was as great as I thought it would be, besides the rain delay," she said before heading west to play in a pair of summer scrimmages for Grand Rapids Community College. "They’re just a bunch of great people, a bunch of great ball players and we all got along. It was great to be able to play in a game like this."

Morgan, who pitched her Coyotes to a regional title, plans on trying to walk on at Ferris State. She threw the third, fourth and seventh innings on Wednesday. She allowed nine runs on nine hits, though a few of them should have been scored errors and the damage against her would have been much less.

"It was a great experience," said Morgan, who went 0-for-2 at the plate with a strikeout and pop out. "If it’s not competitive, it’s not fun."

"The hits were pretty equal between both teams," Roger Steig said. "Their hits were a little more timely than ours."

Although the final score was lopsided, players on both sides were smiling when it was over.

"It was really a neat day and a lot of fun," Roger Steig said. "It was a great experience for the kids and a great experience for me.

"Everybody is a winner in this game."